This question Is there a way to prevent another dog from pooping on our grass? was edited to change the emphasis of the question.
There are two answers one to the original, one to the second, what to do?

related: Editing answered questions to alter the original meaning

2 Answers 2


I disagree that the entire edit should have been rolled back.

There were several grammatical improvements made in the edit, that have now been reverted. The only issue I see with the edit is the change to the title. Making a second edit, to fix the title to cover both aspects of the question, would have been preferable to a full rollback.

Personally, I think people tend to place too much emphasis on the title. The title isn't the question. The title is merely a tool to help identify the most basic issue of the question. The actual question consists of all the details provided in the question body.

The edited version included both parts of the question from the original version: Would having the OP's dog mark the territory work? Are there other solutions besides the dog marking the territory?

I'm not sure if you consider my answer to be addressing the first version, or the second, as I consider my answer equally valid for both.

"Is there a way I can use my dog to make marks on the grass to notify the dog that there is another dog in the house?" was a part of the original version, and was present in the question when the other answer was posted, so I don't believe the edit can be blamed for altering the original meaning.

  • Your answer was fine for both. The other didn't answer the second title question. I up voted both. I didn't think the title did justice to the question or the other answer. I could've just edited the title. I was being totally lazy to tell you the truth and it's better not to edit when like that. I still wanted to ask the Q irregardless. Good meta Q for newcomers
    – user87
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 13:51
  • I actually agree with you about the rollback. I regretted it as soon as I did it. But left it, so as not to make a further pigs ear of it, pardon to the pig lovers
    – user87
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 13:53
  • 2
    @Skippy Actually, the second version of the title seemed unfamiliar to me, and I just checked the time stamps and realized my answer was posted before the title was changed (by less than a minute!). So both of the answers were addressing the original title, not the revised version (I probably didn't even see it until I checked the revision history and saw your rollback).
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 13:55
  • Yes I go through to vote all posts I may have missed and saw that and noticed the change. I think the title should be broader, as people google land on titles. What do you reckon?
    – user87
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 14:02
  • 1
    I made edits to the question, and the title (which I left broad).
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 14:18
  • While the title was rephrased, I NEVER remove context from the interior of a question I edit.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 15:20
  • The title was changed to emphasize the first question in the list, which seemed the true intent of the question, rather than the second part. Changing the title back is justifiable.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 15:23
  • @JoshDM I don't think any of your edits were invalid. I'm on the fence about the title, and since there seems to be some conflict on that, I opted to leave it closer to the original than what you had put, but I don't think either version significantly changes the meaning of the question.
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 15:27
  • I prefer some (cleaner) version of the original title, and I generally leave it to the OP to be my editor. I did like the internal question about using his own dog though, which I found made the question more unique.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 15:31
  • @JoshDM please understand this is not aimed at you, it was an opportunity to bring it up here, so ground rules are set for future generations.. so just think in 100 years from now :)
    – user87
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 16:43

Both answer were answering one of the questions at the end of the question.

The core of the question remained, even after the title changed: "how can I prevent another dog from pooping on my lawn?" There is only a certain difference between accepting all answers or if the focus lies on using his own dog and also to accept alternatives.

I think the rollback to Rev1 was justified, the title is more open and reflects both alternatives and the use of his dog. I am however not sure if the first version (or looking for alternatives) is on topic, which might justify a change.

  • Baarn should I accept this answer or just leave it, in case people have more suggestions for this kind of thing generally? Do you have any ideas for more general cases?
    – user87
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 8:55
  • It can always happen that a question that already has answers changes due to request in comments. If the OP does some changes I think it is OK to keep a question eg: that was too broad) from getting closed. If it is an edit out of the community I'd prefer closing the question instead of invalidating all the answers.
    – Baarn
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 9:06
  • 2
    Please don't be too quick accepting anything on meta, like on main, people are less likely to give an answer if there is already an accepted one. However on meta it is crucial that everybody voices their opinion. So unless the question is something that can be resolved (bug, request to diamonds etc) always wait some days or don't accept anything at all.
    – Baarn
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 9:10
  • also with regard to OP editing on SO sometimes the OP will edit inappropriately, so wouldn't always say the OP edit is ok after an answer
    – user87
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 9:13
  • 1
    If an edit is appropriate should be decided on a case by case basis. In general it should be OK that a question receives answers that were not asked for but which solve the core of the problem.
    – Baarn
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 9:35
  • The other option is to edit the answers if the question has changed. This is why it's sometimes a good idea to not answer questions that might get closed; it makes people afraid to fix them and leaves those broken windows on the site.
    – jmort253
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 14:14

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